Russian Leaders Putin and Lavrov Walk Cautiously in Tehran

Russian Leaders Putin and Lavrov Walk Cautiously in Tehran

During his Oct. 30 visit to Tehran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reaffirmed Moscow's opposition to imposing any additional sanctions against Iran without the specific approval of the U.N. Security Council, where Russia enjoys the right of veto.

Lavrov's trip occurred as the six countries involved in negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program -- China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- are debating whether to impose a third round of sanctions against Tehran. The Iranian government has resisted demands to curb its uranium enrichment program, which could provide the basis for manufacturing nuclear weapons.

The United States recently declared new unilateral sanctions against Iranian banks and Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, which U.S. military commanders accuse of assisting the anti-American insurgents in neighboring Iraq. The Russian government has reluctantly adopted two UNSC resolutions imposing mild sanctions on Iranian leaders, but opposes a more comprehensive set despite pressure from the United States, France, Israel, and other countries.

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